With Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns should win the Western Conference

Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

After acquiring Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns are in a great position to win the Western Conference and, perhaps, the NBA title.

In the end, it all did come burning down in Brooklyn. Just a few months later than we all thought it would. Nevertheless, the Nets’ loss is the Phoenix Suns‘ gain. Last Wednesday night, hours before the NBA Trade Deadline, the Suns acquired Kevin Durant in a blockbuster trade for the ages.

The Suns traded Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four unprotected future first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029), and pick swap to the Nets in exchange for Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren. As the Nets pivot toward a rebuild (or at the very least a retooling) after a failed experiment, the Suns appear to be all-in on winning a championship this season.

We should find out in the next few months if their gamble will pay off, but at least on paper, this is a team that should be in a great position to win the Western Conference.

Should the Phoenix Suns be the favorites in the West?

At least on paper, there may not be a better 1-2 punch in the conference (or perhaps even in the league) than Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Beyond their 1-2 punch, the Suns have a solid No. 3 and 4 in Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul.

Looking at the landscape of the West, which is currently wide-open, it’s tough to see a team that you’d be confident enough in heading into the playoffs. That’s why it’s hard to bet against a team like the Suns right now.

The Denver Nuggets have been fantastic this season but they’re a team that still needs to prove it in the postseason. Is their regular season success translatable to the postseason? It remains to be seen.

The Memphis Grizzlies have hit a rough patch on the road and are just 2-8 in their last 10 games. All of a sudden, the Grizzlies don’t look as daunting as they did just a couple of weeks ago. The Sacramento Kings are the third seed but is anyone really expecting them to be a threat in the postseason? The Dallas Mavericks are fourth and just acquired Kyrie Irving, but we all know how much of a ticking time bomb he may be.

And then you have the Suns, who just welcomed back Booker from injury and then just acquired Durant. The LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors are also two teams you can’t count out but they have injury and durability issues of their own as well.

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The Suns put all their marbles in Kevin Durant and it paid off. Perhaps a few months late, but they finally have their man. The big question is whether or not this is a move that will get them a title. At least on paper, they have all the necessary pieces to pull it off. The Suns should be the new favorite in the West.